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For our new January newsletter readers, let’s review my PMS prescription, explained in far greater detail in The Triple Whammy Cure.

When you feel crummy, you’re menstruating, AND your symptoms appear predictably on a monthly (or every-other-month) basis, the problem is definitely hormonal and definitely fixable.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) occurs for two reasons:
1. First, there’s an imbalance between estrogen (too much) and progesterone (too little). This causes such symptoms as breast tenderness, bloating, and fluid retention.

2. Second, falling levels of estrogen occurring before your period drag down your stress-buffering, feel-good serotonin (a brain chemical). As a result, you cry at a Hallmark commercial, attack your significant other, would kill for chocolate, and may have flare-ups of other low-serotonin disorders, like irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, panic attacks, or obsessive-compulsive behavior.

PMS treatment
• Stringently follow the simple lifestyle changes described in the Health Tip Drug-Free Hormone Balancing.

• If most of your symptoms are listed in #1 above, use progesterone cream (available without a prescription), 1/4 teaspoon twice a day, from mid-cycle until you get your period OR use chasteberry, two capsules each morning, on the same schedule.

• If your symptoms are mainly described in #2 above, use the chasteberry AND St. John’s wort, 450 mg twice a day. Take both of these when you’re not menstruating.

• If your symptoms are described in both #1 and #2 above, the chasteberry/St. John’s combination may well be enough. If after a couple of cycles, you’re still having symptoms, add the progesterone cream on the schedule described.

If you become nearly nonfunctional with PMS depression or anxiety, talk to your doctor about taking a prescription antidepressant. Although St. John’s wort will work for mild depression and anxiety, some women are so incapacitated each month that they need an antidepressant. I’ve seen it help many of my patients.

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